fbpx
Search
Close this search box.

Avoiding the Risks of Public Wi-Fi

Warning icon displayed above a laptop being used.
Warning icon displayed above a laptop being used.

As technology goes more and more mobile, working remotely from public Wi-Fi locations is going to be a bigger and bigger part of doing business. Whether it’s your sales team using airport Wi-Fi while waiting for a flight, or your creative employees knocking out some work at a Starbucks over lunch, the risks of public Wi-Fi are going to have to become a consideration for companies.

Unfortunately, most employees (and many employers) don’t know just how dangerous using public Wi-Fi networks can actually be. Whenever you connect to a public Wi-Fi network, any information you send or receive can be easily snatched from the air and inspected.

In fact, this very issue was highlighted just a short while ago when a plugin called Firesheep made it trivial for anyone on a public Wi-Fi network to hijack the social network and other accounts of people sharing that network. While the major social networks quickly fixed the vulnerabilities that allowed this behavior, not all sites did.

Protecting your business data from being exposed on public networks is critical, and should not be taken lightly. The simplest and most secure way to prevent proprietary data from leaking into public access is to simply not use public Wi-Fi spots for any kind of official business. In fact, for the most security, it might be a good idea to not connect any company mobile devices to any public Wi-Fi networks at all.

The downside of this method is that employees on the road or out of the office will not be able to get work done, and their productivity will decline noticeably. Another solution is to use a 4G internet dongle. These devices plug in to your laptop and function as cellular modems to connect you to the internet the same way that your cell phone connects. This not only lets you bypass the dangers of public Wi-Fi, but also allows your employees to work online from anywhere where they can get a cell signal.

The downside is that if there is no cell reception, there is no internet, and poor cell reception could lead to the connection being agonizingly slow. It’s also fairly pricey, with many providers charging large fees for very limited data.

The last solution is to use a VPN, or virtual private network, to tunnel through the public Wi-Fi access and do all business-related work under full encryption. A VPN, in this case, involves creating a secure connection within the unsecured public connection, and connecting directly to a work server which you then use to access the broader internet. This keeps the data you send secure between your laptop and the final destination.

The biggest drawback with a VPN is that most require monthly payment (or expensive in-house infrastructure), and the speed of web-browsing can be noticeably lower since you have to go through another computer.

Learn more about our managed network services and contact us today!

Corsica Technologies
Corsica provides personalized service and a virtual CIO (vCIO) who serves as a strategic advisor. When it comes to the complex integration of solutions for IT and cybersecurity, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. We offer cybersecurity solutions, managed services, digital transformation, resale services, and one-off technology projects. Corsica unifies any combination of these services into a complete, seamless solution.

Related Reads

EDI in the supply chain - Corsica Technologies

Supply Chain EDI: What You Need To Know

EDI is the backbone of the supply chain. Without this technology, trading partners would have to rely on email, phone, or snail mail (gasp) to exchange business-critical documents. But EDI is complicated. There’s a lot to know, and it’s easy

Read more
Unlimited IT Support Services - Corsica Technologies

The End Of Metered Billing In Technology Services

Let’s be honest. When it comes to technology services, something is broken. Customers aren’t getting the consistency, responsiveness, and cost transparency they deserve. Meanwhile, MSPs (managed IT service providers) promise the moon with “all-in” pricing, yet they still allow tons

Read more
CPCSC - Canadian Program for Cyber Security Certification - Corsica Technologies

CPCSC For Canadian Defense Contractors: What We Know Today

With cybersecurity threats evolving rapidly, governments are taking steps to protect sensitive but unclassified information that they must share with their suppliers. This is a critical undertaking, as hackers can use sensitive information to inform their strategies—plus they can execute

Read more

Sign Up For Our Newsletter

Stay up-to-date on the Managed Services and Cybersecurity landscape, and be the first to find out about events and special offers.